Working Options in Education has developed four standalone employability skills workshops which will be piloted with a number of our state sixth form college partners over the next few months. These build on our successful motivation and information sessions, by offering more in-depth experiences for students.
These new participatory workshops for 16-18 year olds focus on ‘employability skills gaps’ that students have identified during our motivation and information sessions, and also reflect those that employers are keen to see in their new recruits. Topics for the four workshops will be teamwork, problem solving, communication skills and interview skills; all have the aim of raising student aspirations and supporting social mobility.
“Students, colleges and employers have been telling us that employability skills are what they want. We’re really excited to be rolling out this pilot and will be inviting some of our colleges to get involved very soon, “ says Lauren Monk, National Development Manager at Working Options.
Format of the workshops
Each workshop will be 1 hour long (can be extended if time permits) and run by a trained facilitator provided by Working Options. We will also provide 2-3 other volunteers from industry dependent on the number of students taking part.
Colleges will need to supply an appropriate room (the optimum number of students is 20 but workshops can be run for smaller groups) and a tutor would need to be present throughout.
Students will need to complete an evaluation at the end of each workshop.
Impact of the workshops
As part of the pilot we’ll be evaluating every workshop, but the intended impacts are that:
students should leave a workshop feeling better equipped and informed about a particular employability skill
students should gain a more positive outlook on their future prospects after taking part
colleges will be able to evidence delivery of a number of the ‘Gatsby Benchmarks’ by running these workshops in their college.